Reasons to Watch: Union vs. Sporting KC

It's always exciting when Sporting KC and Philadelphia Union face off. The current versions of these teams play a high intensity game and will go at each other for the full 90 minutes. And with an Open Cup final looming, the Union will be looking to build momentum heading into a chance at silverware.

Sporting has style

Peter Vermes' teams play with energy and keep the game lively, so there will be no sitting back like Montreal Impact did a week ago. Expect to see a high line from KC and for the Union to try and drop balls behind that line and use their speed to get in behind.

Sporting will also look to get behind Philly's back four, but often with runs that start from deeper positions or start sideways and end up curling behind. KC's 1.1 offsides per game is the lowest in MLS, so they are very disciplined with their aggression.

Potential debuts

The Open Cup final means Jim Curtin may rest a few pieces, and that could mean the first start of the season for a few guys.

Will Kacper Przybylko or Olivier Mbaizo make their debuts? Will this be the first time a Fontana-Jones midfield pairing starts a match? In these games that precede finals, many players get a chance to show their value, and that means hard charging effort from the opening whistle.

On the other hand, Sporting has more than a week off and no midweek game after they travel to Philadelphia. That means a strong lineup on the pitch, and one that will seek to trap Philly in their own end and create turnovers.

Last chance

From a purely fan-centric perspective, this is the last chance to see the Union in action at home before they head down to Houston for the final. Philly has come so close to the cup twice before, and with Houston struggling this season there is a strong chance the cup that has spent so much time in Philadelphia in the past will return to the City of Brotherly Love.

Check out the Union and Sporting Kansas City on Sunday at 1PM EST at Talen Energy Stadium before the team heads down to Houston.


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